400 Miles Later, Was It A Mistake?
Well I now have over 400 miles on the KLR, I am working on a ride report for when the break in period is over and I can run it through its paces. But after 400 miles you have a good idea of how a bike will meet your expectations.
So was it a mistake to trade off ďMĒ a fast muscle cruiser full of attitude and a love for the road for bike that was designed with compromise as the theme? The Suzuki M95 was a great road bike, it got reasonable gas mileage (just a tick under 40 mpg), it looked and sounded mean, there was more then enough power, and it was a comfortable cruiser.
In contrast the KLR is a light high seated bike that looks to be better suited for trail riding then for the road. A dirt bike with a fairing which make it look a little cumbersome and heavy. It doesnít look like it would be fun to sit on for a 300 mile jaunt and the fairing looks utterly useless except as a design queue. The sound it emits doesnít exactly inspire respect. Riding late one night tooling through a field the rabbits just laughed at the bike not the least bit afraid.
After 400 miles here is what I can tell you, first at 350 miles I finally decided to fill the bike up, it had not yet hit reserve. It took 5.5 gallons that is 63 mpg, I imagine that will go down some after the break in period is over and I can actually ride with the flow of traffic.
On the road that little fairing is very impressive, no it doesnít keep the wind off but it does reduce buffeting to nil. It has a very smooth ride much smoother then ďMĒ had and in the twisties it is very capable and sure footed. Acceleration, well being limited to 4k it is hard to tell, but I can tell you that when you hit 3K it is like flipping a switch, almost like an old 2 stroke. None the less it gets up to speed quite nicely.
Off Road, I havenít had a lot of time to play off road and there isnít much trail riding around here, but I have tooled around and over some rough ground, taken it over a few small hills, through some mud and across gravel and sand. For the most part it handles these things well. I have to remember certain things like getting the weight off the front wheel when in the mud, sand, and gravel but even when I didnít still handled well. Up hill so far has been point it and go nothing to tax it at all.
To this point I am very pleased, it is a fun bike to jump on and just go exploring. In traffic it is much easier to handle then ďMĒ was. With the tail bag it has even become a grocery getter.
"It may have been Sir Isaac Newton what discovered gravity...
but it was Sir Evel Knievel what DEFIED it." Earl Pitts